Questions for the Beauty Doc
A week after my first aesthetic consultation, my second visit to a Beauty Doc is coming up – this time with two not insignificant differences: first, I’m going to a man, and second, to an aesthetic plastic surgeon. And there is only one question running through my mind: Is he advising me to do something different?
The initial situation is still the same. I want to preserve my face, i.e. do classic anti-aging. This time, my path leads me to Dr. Peter Neumann, whose practice is right in the center of Munich, in the valley. And as so often, you can feel the atmospheric differences immediately. Whereas at the dermatologist Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmacher’s I was greeted by white and soft tones in the purple-gray-beige range, at Dr. Peter Neumann’s practice I feel as if I’m standing in a forest: there’s a lot of green and a lot of wood. There is a firm handshake from the doctor himself. His arms are tattooed, his initials are embroidered on his white shirt. It quickly becomes clear that he attaches a lot of importance to a pleasant practice environment, because you would never notice that there are sterile operating rooms one corridor back if you didn’t know.
“As a plastic surgeon, I have to listen first,” says Dr. Neumann, who takes a lot of time for the initial consultation. That’s necessary, he says, to find out how great the patient’s respective level of suffering actually is. According to the beauty doc, you have to feel out the patient’s personality, because, “A successful surgery doesn’t always make satisfied patients.” It takes up to twenty minutes for him to get to the actual examination, to the core of the problem. Before that, a classic medical history is taken to make sure that everything is taken care of from a medical point of view during surgery.
But what can be done concretely for me – healthy, in my early 30s – so that I will still look youthful and vital in many years to come? He, too, first gives very practical advice, which coincides with that of Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmacher: don’t smoke, sun protection, care. Nevertheless, there are “medicosmetics” whose active ingredients have been proven to penetrate the skin. Dr. Peter Neumann recommends the brand !QMS. Fruit acid peelings are also good, he says.
The Beauty Doc recommends Filler
But now things are getting exciting, because the doctor actually suggests a different treatment method for my troublesome nasolabial plight. He explains that nasolabial folds are caused by volume loss in the midface. Here, a hyaluron filler is “the therapy of choice”. Injected directly into the nasolabial region, this filler can “soften” the wrinkles, he says. “You can achieve a great effect here with an ampoule of hyaluron,” says Neumann, who uses Juvéderm brand fillers that last about 18 months and cost around €400 per milliliter.
He said it’s also conceivable to use a filler in the upper cheek area to restore lost volume there. “But then that’s a bit of a surgical story and you need significantly more filler, about 4-6 milliliters per side,” Dr. Neumann explains. Which means it’s also correspondingly more expensive. The doctor also suggests another procedure: Injection with the patient’s own fat. The advantage: unlike fillers, it lasts permanently. In exchange, the patient’s own fat is taken from another part of the body, prepared accordingly and then injected. Sounds a bit scary to me – as an aesthetic virgin.
Botox against expression lines
For expression lines, Dr. Peter Neumann also recommends Botox. He explains that to counteract an frown line, about six small pricks are needed above the eyebrow – not just one between the brows. The reason for this is complex muscle interaction. “To get a perfect result with Botox, you have to look very closely at the patient’s facial expressions. And it’s a case of the dose makes the poison.” Unattractive and off-putting Botox faces of celebrities and starlets, which have been haunting the press, are always the result of several procedures, Dr. Peter Neumann tells us: “You never look like that from one procedure alone.”
The Munich doctor uses the original Botox – the “mother tincture,” as he calls it. He says his team and he have had the best experience with it. The cost is about 300€ per treatment, and twice a year. At the end of the conversation comes some good news: I would be spared drooping eyelids in my old age. Phew. After all.
The conversation ends with a friendly farewell and I walk down the stairs until I am back in the middle of Munich’s pedestrian bustle. I observe the people and remember the sentence of Dr. Neumann, who spoke with a self-deprecating smile about how his profession sometimes haunts him in everyday life – for example, when he thinks about how he would perform which nose correction on whom in the subway. Many thoughts buzz through my head. Aren’t we all imperfectly perfect, too? Isn’t such an old, wrinkled granny face also something incredibly beautiful? Do I really want that, Botox & Co.? I am happy about the competent advice from both doctors and still feel a certain uncertainty. Maybe it’s just good to know what I could do for the time being. I realize: I still need some time for my decision. Maybe until the shadows of my nasolabial folds catch up with me. Or maybe not. It will be seen. In the truest sense of the word.